The service will be provided Thumby Aviation Private Limited after the company signed an exclusive partnership with the Bengaluru Airport. The journey by road, which often entailed a nightmarish three hours in rush hour traffic, may soon be completely avoidable as Bengaluru is all set to get India's first dedicated helicopter-taxi (heli-taxi) service. Initially, the services will be between KIA and Electronics City, where a heliport is expected to come up. The company wants to operate this service between KIA and Electronics city.
"The city of Sao Paulo in Brazil is as big as Bengaluru, but they operate about 300 helicopters".
Ministry of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha, who announced the launch of the Heli Taxi services on Friday, said that the service will ensure quick seamless transfers to and from the airport at a cost similar to luxury taxi fare.
Group Captain KNG Nair, chairman and managing director, Thumby Aviation, said that a survey was conducted before it was chose to launch the helicopter shuttle service.
The future projects will ferry passengers to Whitefield and to the HAL airport areas in the city.
The heli-taxi will cost about Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3000 because the air-conditioned road taxi takes about Rs. 1500 to Rs. 2500 fare.
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The prices, which are yet to be fixed, are likely to be calculated based on the interest shown. "We would like to price the service very competitively", Mr. Nair said. KIA is also open to supporting other companies that would like to take up similar heli-taxi services to and from the city.
Karnataka minister for large, medium industries and infrastructure R. V. Deshpande welcomed the initiative and said "Bengaluru is on the growth path, there is a need to lay a strong foundation for improving connectivity to the airport".
As of now, Bangalore city has 90 helipads, including the ones on rooftops that are not in use.
"The integration of HeliTaxi services into the airport operations will enable us to remove much of the friction faced by many frequent corporate travellers, the challenge of quick transport from distant areas to and from the airport", Mangaing Director of the Airport told reporters.
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